Camp, Orange CtH. 13 Sept ’63


I was very much gratified my precious little Agnes at the reception of your letter. After perusal I forwd it to Rob & transmitted at the same time your note to Genl Stuart. I hope you will all get a fine stock of health, in that envigorating country & that your neuralgia will be dissipated forever. I hear daughter is becoming quite rotund & increasing in avoidupois [sic] daily. I hope Capt Buford has an abundance of beans & eggs. How is your poor mother & what great work has she on hand now. I hope you girls are helping Miss Buford in her work for the Soldiers. Tell her how grateful I am for all she is doing for them. They are in great need & their Constant cry is give give. But they are a noble set of men & she has free permission to do anything for them she pleases, except marry them for I fear that would take them out of the army. Miss Sallie told me of your grand speculation. I wish it had been in shoes & clothes for the soldiers. She has a grand scheme on foot now & only requires a million of old postage stamps, which Mr Chapman Leigh is to Collect for her. Poor little thing I wonder where it will be accomplished. She is as sweet as ever but I do not think has the least notion of marrying Custis. Dr. Shirley’s calls are very frequent now perhaps he is acting as his friend, or his visits may be professional. But she would not tell. Tell your mother Custis did not tell me of the gauntlets sent me by Ella Calvert & I did not hear of them till I recd her letter of the 3rd. Consequently I did not thank little Ella when I saw her in R__. She looks thin & badly & capt Campbell has just been ordered to Charleston, which I suppose is an aggravation of her troubles. I suppose you have seen that the enemy has Morris Isd: I presume they will now try to get Sullivans, so as to close the mouth of the harbour. They may destroy Charleston with their shells, but I hope will not do us any great injury. Margaret & Carrie returned to Richmond yesterday. They seemed to enjoy the sight of the army, & the young men enjoyed the sight of them. I scarcely saw them except the first day when they spent a Couple of hours at my Camp. On monday they expect to go home, but I understand Ada is married, though still there prepared to run as soon as the enemy make their appearance. Perhaps though the wedding is over, the feast is not, & for that they will be in time. Rob & Dangerfield Lewis paid me a visit the other day. The former is very well & the latter looks better than he has since his sickness. They both saw their cousins, but I do not think Carrie looked at Robertus once. I have no news to tell. The enemys Cavy crossed the Rappk this morg on three roads & Genl Stuart reports their arty & ours are now engaged. May God protect our brave men! I presume it is accompanied in force & may reach the Rapidan, as I have learned that Greggs division has six days rations with it. My whole reliance is in our father in heaven! From a traveller from Charlottesville yesterday I learned that charlotte was still there & better. I have heard nothing from F__ since I last wrote. Give much love to your mother & sisters for me & think always of your father

R E Lee




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 479, Section 23, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 May 10